Telluride Yoga Fest: Francisco Kaiut
This year’s Telluride Yoga Fest includes a top-tier list of presenters, more hikes, SUP, music, inspirational talks.
Please scroll down to watch a video interview featuring this popular instructor.
A happy outcome from an accident with a gun?
Well yes, it is fair to say this was a shot soon heard around the yoga world, ahem, triggering as it did a whole new approach to traditional asana practices (one that has become very popular in Telluride specifically at the Telluride Yoga Center).
Find out more for yourself when Francisco Kaiut, comes to town to teach at the Telluride Yoga Festival, Thursday, July 20 – Sunday, July 23. He is joined other top presenters, among them, Tias Little, Coby Kozlowski, Eric Paskel, Tymi Howard Bender, Beryl Bender Birch, Amy Ippoliti, Mark Whitwell, Tommy Rosen, and Gina Caputo.
The story behind Kaiut Yoga begins when Francisco was a boy of six playing with cousins in his backyard. One of of them pulled a gun from his father’s car (his dad worked for the military police) and thinking it was just a toy, shot Francisco point blank in the hip.
Fast forward to age 29, a traumatized Francisco was studying yoga when his principle teacher observed the restrictions in the young man’s body and ascribed them to a “childhood accident,” a memory Francisco had managed to totally repress, despite the fact he was in constant pain, both physical and emotional.
His teacher’s insight was a thunderbolt moment. Francisco went on to study cranial sacral therapy, a gentle, noninvasive form of bodywork that addresses the bones of the head, spinal column, and sacrum, with the goal is of releasing compression in those areas to alleviate stress and pain. He studied polarity therapy, a system of treatment used in alternative medicine, intended to restore a balanced distribution of the body’s energy, and incorporating manipulation, exercise, and dietary restrictions. Francisco also became a student of Tibetan Buddhism and Hatha Yoga.
(Note: “Ha” means sun and “tha” means means moon, so hatha is the yoga of action and balance, manifest in many forms such as Ashtanga, Iyengar, Viniyoga, and all the Western derivatives that emphasize movement with breath.)
Francisco brought all that knowledge to the table, working as a chiropractor and masseur; then to the mat, as a yoga instructor; and finally to his studio in Curitiba, Brazil, where he teaches Kaiut Yoga.
Kaiut Yoga is proving transformative for many who were never comfortable on the mat especially, though not exclusively, those suffering from chronic pain, complex injuries, and general discomfort in their bodies. In other words, while Kaiut Yoga can easily accommodate uber athletes and the young, buff, and trim, it is also a safe haven for more mature and physically challenged yogis.
Francisco disavows the one-size-fits-all approach to yoga, instead tailoring each pose to fit the person, not the other way around: if there are 25 individuals in a Kaiut class, there might appear to be 25 distinct practices taking place.
‘Yoga requires individual attention in order to be practiced without injury, so it must be taught with extreme care, making subtle adjustments on each student,” explains Francisco. “The Kaiut Yoga method consists of prolonged movements, which work to preserve the body.”
In other words Kaiut Yoga is more about “un-doing” than “doing.”
“From the moment we are born our bodies start aging. And each body ages differently depending on our karma and life circumstances. So to remain healthy and as pain-free as possible, it is imperative to pay close attention to each individual’s body, to see where there is rigidity and where we need to focus our efforts to slow down the aging process and create more freedom of mind and body. That is central to my approach working with my yoga students of all ages,” adds Francisco.
The goal is to eliminate blockages and create conditions that allow the body to maximize its potential at any age.
At the 2017 Telluride Yoga Festival, Francisco is teaching two classes: on Friday the focus is bio-mechanical health; Saturday is all about the power of joints.
To learn more, watch this video.
Note: The interview was done in 2016, just before Francisco was refused entrance into the US. So please ignore any references to last year’s Yoga Fest and focus on his life and work described by him below, based on a series of questions we sent his way.
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